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Cloud Computing – Do You Understand What It Means?

Have you heard the term ‘cloud computing’? It’s one of those IT buzzwords which seems to be everywhere these days – but not everyone understands what it means and how it can help transform their business.

Independent research, commissioned by Rise, has recently shown that only 42% of small businesses have heard of cloud computing – with around a quarter of those still not understanding what the term means.

Many IT and business experts agree that whilst cloud computing is undeniably a huge advantage for the SME market, a lack of clear-cut marketing by many IT providers has lead to a significant amount of businesses just not realising what incredible benefits this type of service can have for their business.

So it’s time to dispel the myths and reveal just what cloud computing means to the small business owner – and just how powerful a tool it can be for you.

Cloud Computing – so what is it all about?

Simply speaking, cloud computing software is that which is accessed via the web, rather than provided to the end user via a disk to upload onto their own computer hard drive or server. There are a vast number of different IT software providers now offering their services on a cloud computing basis – such as online accounting software, customer relationship management services and file storage systems.

What’s better about Cloud Computing systems than what I’m currently using?

There are many benefits, but here are just a few. First of all, as long as you have an internet connection, you can access your software –you don’t need to be at one computer where the software is loaded. That’s great for people who wish to work from home or on holiday – they can jump onto any computer and access their information in a flash, such as checking their aged debtors report on their online accounting software.

Secondly, as the software is hosted remotely, you don’t need to worry if your hardware is up to scratch in order to run sophisticated programs or those with large amounts of data – therefore saving you money on continual IT upgrades.

Are there any other cost savings to using Cloud Computing services?

Absolutely! Cloud computing software is particularly suitable for the SME market as most suppliers provide their services on a low cost ‘pay monthly basis’ – meaning that you don’t have to spend your capital up front. Fusion Accounts, a leading online accounting software provider, provides powerful accounts software from just £14.95 – with unlimited transactions, full technical and customer support, automatic backups and free upgrades.  As other accounting software providers charge a substantial upfront free and charge for support and upgrades on top, cloud computing comes out as the clear winner.

Is my data safe with Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing software providers will typically work on fully encrypted technology, meaning that as your data is transmitted across the internet, it’s safe from hackers. With online accounting software providers such as Fusion Accounts, your data is automatically backed up, as well as being hosted on secure, sophisticated servers. Data can also be easily downloaded to Excel at any time, giving the flexibility to use data ‘out of the cloud’ in many different ways.

So why isn’t everyone using Cloud Computing services?

Due to recent advances in broadband speeds and accessibility, more and more software providers are now making the move to cloud computing. Issues that people may have experienced in the past with slow connections and upload times are becoming a thing of the past – meaning that cloud computing software is fast, efficient and exceptionally reliable. In fact, there’s no reason why every SME can’t benefit from the changeover to cloud computing services – both financially and practically. So what are you waiting for?